Have you been looking around for hearing aids lately? At some point, you may have stumbled on Costco hearing aids.
It was in 2014 when Costco first released hearing aids, and its products have risen to popularity ever since. Question is – are Costco hearing aids worth it? We’ll answer this question and more below –
Costco dispenses many digital programmable hearing aids from top name brands plus its own line of Kirkland Signature hearing aids. Costco also carries internationally-known brands such as Jabra, Phonak, and Philips.
Are the hearing test procedures of Costco the same with hearing clinics in private practice?
Probably. Most Costco hearing aid centers have a licensed dispenser around to conduct the test but, in rare instances, an audiologist is actually present to perform the hearing test.
If you are not comfortable getting a hearing test in Costco, the best route would be to make an appointment with an audiologist at a hearing clinic.
Ontario Hearing Centers offer hearing tests and other hearing related services in Rochester, NY. We have two offices located in Brighton and Gates.
Aaah, Costco. It’s like a wonderland for shoppers who enjoy good quality products at low prices. Ever since Costco hearing aids were launched, consumers had more options to choose from aside from the hearing aids dispensed at an audiologist’s clinic.
Costco hearing aids are usually linked to affordability. True enough, Costco hearing aids are indeed cheaper than other models in the market. However, there are some compromises that come along with Costco hearing aids.
1. Since they are sold at lower prices, Costco does not usually offer the latest and premium versions of major hearing aids.
Why? It’s because hearing aid manufacturers offer them first to private audiology practices, like Ontario Hearing Centers. If you would love to get a pair of the latest and premium hearing aids in the market, Costco is not the place to go.
2. Costco may get decent ratings for dependable service – and that includes its hearing center services. But, you have to keep in mind that if you go to Costco hearing centers, you are more likely to be checked by a state-licensed hearing aid dispenser rather than an audiologist who has earned a degree and spent longer years of training and schooling.
Are Costco hearing aids considered a good investment?
At this point, it’s hard to tell. You need to weigh the pros and cons, along with the features and technology that come along with Costco hearing aids. It’s also worth noting that Costco hearing centers are usually manned by state-licensed hearing aid dispensers.
Should you prefer to be seen by an audiologist and be fitted with hearing aids using real ear measurement, setting an appointment at a hearing clinic is the best option. Ontario Hearing Centers has been providing quality hearing healthcare in Rochester, NY, serving the local community since 1956.
Let’s get things straight – Costco hearing aids are cheaper because they are the products of distribution volume. Cheaper doesn’t always mean better – you need to scrutinize the product more and weigh the pros and cons meticulously to come up with a decision.
As audiologists in private practice, we are aware of the impression that hearing aids dispensed in a clinic are expensive. But frankly speaking, we believe that the price you pay at private practices is worth every penny – from the services, apparatus, technology and expertise of an audiologist (not to mention the repairs, services, follow-up checkups, etc), we absolutely think that we’re giving you a super valuable deal.
When you go to Ontario Hearing Centers, you are not just buying hearing aids. You also get to enjoy amazing pre, during and after-sales service and rely on our audiologists’ expertise.
When you step out from Ontario Hearing Centers and bring your hearing aids home, our service does not stop there. We are committed to assist you in every step of your hearing journey with one goal in mind – and that is to give you a chance at better hearing.
Costco Hearing Aids: Red Flags
As the old cliche goes, there are two sides to every coin. We have pretty much summed up the good points of Costco hearing aids – accessible, affordable, decent performance. And all these can be confirmed when you check online reviews in hearing aid forums – well, most of them at least.
Now let’s move on to the red flags – when you purchase Costco hearing aids, you’ll be getting locked hearing aids. When we say locked, you can only have them checked or repaired at Costco service centers.
So imagine that you are on vacation and your hearing aids act a little doozy. You try to go to the nearest Costco but it’s miles away. Quite a hassle, right?
Another thing that you need to consider is real ear measurement (REM). While Costco claims to use REM for their hearing aid fittings, the accuracy of the procedure may be a bit questionable.
You see, Costco employs state-licensed dispensers to perform REM. Private practices, like Ontario Hearing Centers, have licensed audiologists who have years of training and experience under their belt.
Lastly, Costco hearing aids don’t have “loaners”, known as a spare pair of hearing aids should your original set break down and need to be endorsed to the manufacturer for major repairs. Most private practices have “loaners” so a patient can continue to enjoy better hearing while the broken hearing aids are being repaired.
For patients who have poor hearing health and severe hearing loss, we do not recommend Costco hearing aids. Instead, a visit to an audiologist is the best action to take. This is to lower the chances of further hearing deterioration.
Here’s our take on Costco hearing aids –
Their affordability and accessibility is clearly very attractive to consumers. This is attributed to the volume purchases and distribution clout carried by Costco. If you were to compare the cost of Costco hearing aids vs hearing devices in private practices, there will really be a significant price difference.
But, do take note that there are significant trade-offs that are part of the low price tags of Costco hearing aids –
You won’t find the latest devices in the lineup of Costco hearing aids. We’ve already talked about this in the earlier part of the article but to refresh your mind – manufacturers prioritize the distribution of the latest and high-end hearing aids to private practices. So if you would prefer the latest set of hearing aids, you know where to go.
Costco hearing aids will be fitted by a state-licensed hearing aid dispenser. If you’re all game for that, then that’s cool. BUT, if you would like to have your hearing aids fitted by a licensed audiologist, setting an appointment at a hearing clinic is the best way to go.
If you or a family member is diagnosed with severe hearing loss or other complicated hearing concerns, you need to be checked by a licensed audiologist. At the end of the day, the money you spend on Costco hearing aids vs the fees you pay at a private practice will go neck to neck.
Most audiology clinics have bundle offerings that cover hearing aids, professional fee, warranty, repairs, follow-up check-ups, etc.